Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Monkey trouble

Malaise downed by monkeys!
Duiker prints by empty pitfall
Today marks the end of our first week of fieldwork this expedition - to commemorate this milestone, we arrived to the field site this morning to find that monkeys apparently enjoyed themselves last night deconstructing our experimental set up! Malaise traps were knocked over, and pitfall and yellow pan traps were flung about - basically undoing our last 24 hours of sampling work. This comes a day after we found some of our pitfalls and pan traps licked clean by what appeared to be a forest duiker (small antelope in the genus Cephalophus) with a taste for soapy water. This morning we collected what we could, and reset traps in a nearby forest site on the other side of the Gede Ruins archealogical site. We're hoping that this round will go smoothly - it's in the same reference forest, but far enough away that it is ruled by a different (and hopefully less mischievous) monkey troupe (which we saw moving through the trees upon our arrival). Tomorrow we'll know if this incident was a one-off - or if we need to get serious about guarding our experimental set-up from marauding monkeys 24/7!

Don't be misled by that innocent look!

(and they can also pretty hazardous to scientific research as well!)

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